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JLP wants Joseph Hibbert’s name cleared

Monday, June 17, 2013 | 10:44 AM    

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KINGSTON, Jamaica  — The Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) says it wants the name and reputation of its former parliamentarian, Joseph Hibbert, cleared.

Hibbert, who served as chief technical officer in the Ministry of Transport and Works during the 1990s died at hospital Saturday night after a heart attack.

He also represented the JLP as MP for East Rural St Andrew, between 2002 and 2011.

 In 2011 Hibbert resigned as junior transport and works minister after the British firm, Mabey and Johnson, admitted to bribing officials in Jamaica and other countries to win bridge-building contracts in the 1990s, while he was chief technical director at the ministry.

JLP general secretary, Dr Horace Chang in a statement said that he hoped Hibbert’s name would be cleared even though he has passed.

"It is extremely unfortunate that someone who has had such a long career as a distinguished and decent civil servant, could have so easily become a victim of political and corporate intrigue which eventually destroyed his political career, and may have hastened his death, without a shred of evidence being produced to support the allegations made against him," Chang said.

Chang described Hibbert as "a quiet, gentle political giant, a patriotic Jamaican and a man of honour whose career was unfortunately cut short by circumstances over which he had no control.”

He said the JLP humbly accepted the ordeal as the price Hibbert had paid in service to his party and country, and still hopes that the truth will eventually be told and his name cleared.

Although no evidence was produced linking Hibbert to the allegations and, although he was never charged, he stood down re-election in 2011 choosing, instead, to retire from active politics.

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